Spray bottle fear? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-14-2010, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Northern Wisconsin
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Post Spray bottle fear?

So I'm purchasing a horse that has been abused by his previous owner. His name is Lakota and the sweetest horse I could ask for. He's pretty much perfect except for spray bottles. I cant even spray the bottle in front of him without him freaking out. Today I tried to spray his tail and he pretty much ran my mom over. I've tried everything I know, the gradual aproach, the just spray him aproach, the spray the bottle in front of him so he can watch it aproach, etc. Nothing seems to work. Everyone at the barn figures his owners tried to spray him and when he reacted, she beat him or treated him badly and he relates the experince with bad thoughts. Its not just fly spray either...its water, condition, anything that is sprayed at him. Any suggestions would be great because flys are pretty bad around here. Thanks! =)

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post #2 of 18 Old 06-14-2010, 08:57 PM
Join Date: May 2010
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i have worked with several spray fear horses my most recent is a morgan cross and i jus rub an empty clean bottle on his shoulders his back his face etc. then i put water in the bottle, water doesnt have the strong smell, and i do the same thing i rub the horse until he stops moving his feet then i retreat and reward with love ( petting good boys your so preety ect) once hes ok with that i spray on his back and rump and shoulders cause their the least sensitive and i will keep spraying untill his feet stop then i wil retreat and give loves and then once he is ok with the filled bottle i will rub him down with a dampened rag so that he can become comfotable with the smell of the fly spray ( some horses are scared of that ) and again i will start with the back shoulders and rump and then i combind the all.

this may take several days for him to become comfotable with this and eccept it and everyday give and take give 90 percent take 10. this is very impotant to remember to always reward for any good behavior even if its only for a sec. also never do this while your horse is tied up you want you horse to be able to move his feet so that you can properly do the excersise and to keep you and your horse safe.

remeber also to work slow and to not rush the process but if you try these steps im sure with in the next month you will be able to spray him with little problems.

good luck

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post #3 of 18 Old 06-14-2010, 09:11 PM
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Some horses don't like the sound of the sprayer, some don't like the feel of being sprayed, and some don't like the smell. I've seen horses that don't mind being sprayed on the neck or front legs, but were afraid if you sprayed their hip/butt area. As farley said, practice, patience, accept small progress, and try to maintain a 'being sprayed is no big deal' attitude when you work with him.

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post #4 of 18 Old 06-14-2010, 09:14 PM
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MY horse was the exact same way! The first day I got him, I went to spray him with fly spray and he almost tramped me. Well, what I did as I put him on crossties instead of in his stall so that he didn't feel claustrophobic, and then I sprayed his hoof, and once he was okay with that, I moved up his leg, rewarding him each time, until he was comfortable with it being sprayed all over his body on crossties. Now, we're working at it in his stall, by doing the same thing, just in his stall.
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-14-2010, 09:28 PM
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i would be really careful working in small areas specially if the horse feels he cant get away its alway flight first with horses and i would always always have a halter an lead on him while practicing in his stall he may feel trapped and get frustrated and try running you down if he wants to he will but at leat with a lead you may have more control. cross ties are good but it can encourage rearing pawing and kicking because they feel trapped, so please be careful while doing this.

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post #6 of 18 Old 06-14-2010, 09:39 PM
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I would let the horse loose in a round pen or somewhere, and start by spraying plain water, not at the horse, far enough away that he stays still. Then, praise and reward, moving ever so gradually closer. Give it time. . . Meanwhile, apply fly spray with a damp cloth! Good Luck!
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-14-2010, 09:43 PM
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Define "freaking out". Both 3 year olds AND the 5 year old pony tried to jump, snort and kicked out when I fly sprayed them for the first time this year. I just had one heck of a "ring around the rosy" with Shay-las 3 year old today, snorting and trying to bolt forward as I sprayed her back legs and belly. I just kept saying "whoa", giving her a spray and making sure she was responding to the pressure on the halter (I was holding her). Eventually she stopped moving, I'd praise her heartily.

Unless he's rolling his eyes, bolting in a mad panic or rearing and flipping, I would just be insistant. Warn him before it comes, retreat if it's too much pressure, and just keep at it. Holding him yourself is best so you can keep circling him if necessary to disengage his hind quarters.

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post #8 of 18 Old 06-14-2010, 09:50 PM
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thats what i was saying its good to have controll but to still allow the horse to move so that the dont attempt any aggressive behavior, staying calm using easy and whoa at a low but reasuring voice and by rewarding as macabre did is all great =) im happy to hear you made progress. and make sure if you start something your in for the long haul cause stopping during that bad behavior is interpurated by the horse as a reward

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post #9 of 18 Old 06-14-2010, 09:52 PM
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I started mine with legs. Hoofs at first, and then went higher and higher every day. Took lots of time for my paint (who is afraid of everything) before I even got to the tail area. I just acted like nothing happened when she freaked out and just kept talking to her in quiet voice. BTW, I handled her myself on long lead rope (12 feet) - it was safer then letting my mom to hold her.
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-14-2010, 10:40 PM
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My Mustang was the same way when I first started working with him. I put him on a 12 ft rope and went to the riding ring. I used a plastic spray bottle filled with water and started spraying it while I was walking away from my horse with the lead. He would follow me as I sprayed, freaking out at times. I just kept spraying as if nothing was the matter. I did this for several days to get him used to the sound of the sprayer. Then I moved on to actually spraying him. It took a lot of time and patience. Now he stands there like no big deal and I can spray anything on him. Fly spray, show sheen etc....he doesnt care a bit.

Hang in there , it will get better.

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